Thursday, March 28, 2013

Virulently Anti-Green Conservative Blogger Advocates For Dangerous & Expensive Nuke Energy

You really need to do some non Daily Kos research, lady ~ Willis Hart responding to a comment on his blog; A BS assertion based on nothing but his hatred for someone he deems too far politically left.

Just when you think you've seen the most ridiculous Rightwing nonsense ever from a Conservative blogger who claims to be a moderate, he goes off on a tear that has one shaking one's head in disbelief. As evidenced by the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and now Fukushima disasters, nuclear energy is the most dangerous energy in existence. And, although I'd wager most people do not know it, nuke energy is also the most expensive.

But, even given the literally dozens of anti-green energy posts authored by the Conservative blogger Willis Hart (or "Will Take No Prisoners Hart"), I was still a little shocked by the extreme ignorance (and eagerness to buy the Rightwing spin on the topic) of Mr. Hart's latest post. A post where he wholeheartedly endorses nuclear energy.

In his pro-nuke post Willis claims that "nobody has died from Fukushima period". Sure, that's totally believable (not). He also claims that, "the radiation that was leaked out... was basically that of an X-ray per person", and that nuclear energy is, "the only stuff that emits ZERO carbon emissions". All three of these claims are categorically false. Now the question is whether the Hartster is lying, or did he simply cull this misinformation from the usual Libertarian websites (this "moderate" quotes Cato quite frequently).

When liberal commenter Ema Nymton challenged Willis' laughably nonsensical "information", the one who does not take prisoners attacked her with a heavily insult-laden retort (this is the MO of Willis... I should know because this is exactly what he did to me when I used to comment on his blog), alleging he, "noticed that your lazy partisan ass didn't challenge a single one of my assertions". And, to round out the ad-hominem suplex, Willis finishes with, "attaway to stay on the topic there, girlie". Misogynistic, or an attack on Emma's maturity?

I say both, although the comment primarily concerns Hart's mistaken belief that, because he incorrectly views himself as "moderate", his is the more "mature" position. But the comment is also clearly misogynistic (Wikipedia notes that "misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including... sexual objectification of women", and Willis' blog contains a multitude of posts that fall into this category).

Then, of course all the regular Willis Hart Echo Chamber commenters pile on... Rusty Shackelford says, "Nymton's hot air could rotate 6 or 7 windmills". Willis agrees, snarkily stating "yeah, with Ema assisting, we could could probably get that power density up to 2 watts per square meter".

And finally insane in the membrane blogger dmarks adds a doozie of a non sequitur, asserting, "Ema's comment only proved her contempt for working people" (beats me how Ema's comment accomplished this).

So, regarding Willis' three enormous fibs about nuke energy... people have died due to Fukushima, and MANY more will die as a result of the massive amounts of radioactive elements released in this ongoing disaster. While it is true that nobody has died from any kind of cancer, yet (as cancers can take many years to materialize) World Nuclear News (a PRO-industry organization) notes that, "34 early deaths", can be attributed to "the stresses of personal involvement in the evacuation, management and cleanup related to the Fukushima nuclear accident". Willis said "nobody has died from Fukushima period"... he said "period", instead of "as a result of radioactivity", which makes his statement FALSE.

In regards to the cancers that will manifest as a result of Fukushima, An Examiner article states, "nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen [predicts] the disaster will lead to at least forty million cancer deaths". (Wikipedia's bio on Gundersen says "Gundersen is chief engineer of Fairewinds Associates, an energy consulting company. He previously worked for Nuclear Energy Services in Danbury, a consulting firm where he was a senior vice president. Gundersen holds a master's degree in nuclear engineering").

Also, the 12/2011 edition of the International Journal of Health Services claims that 14,000 deaths in the United States can be linked to Fukushima. The peer-reviewed study notes, "six days after the disastrous meltdowns struck four reactors at Fukushima on 3/11/2011, scientists detected the plume of toxic fallout had arrived over American shores". The studies' authors "estimate... 14,000 excess U.S. deaths in the 14 weeks after the Fukushima meltdown", and that the figure "is comparable to the 16,500 excess deaths in the 17 weeks after the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986".

Perhaps Willis is basing his assertions on claims like those issued by The World Health Organization, which said "the residents of the area were exposed to so little radiation that it probably won't be detectable [and that] a Japanese baby's cancer lifetime risk would increase by about 1%". But this information is based industry estimates regarding how much radiation was released. Regarding those estimates, Arnie Gundersen says, "I'm dead sure that's too low". He believes the actual amount of radioactivity released "could be 15 times higher". Now, would any reasonable-thinking person (a category that doesn't include Mr. Hart) be surprised to discover that the nuclear industry is UNDER estimating the fallout of Fukushima? I think not.

Scientific America (the oldest continuously published monthly magazine in the United States) reveals that Willis' claim that, "the radiation that was leaked out was basically that of an X-ray per person" is complete bullpucky. In reality the "Fukushima nuclear plant released far more radiation than [the Japanese] government said". And the radiation exposure is ongoing, as the main culprit, caesium-137, has a half-life of 30 years. And, while the Japanese government says it will be "able to strip out 80 to 95% of the caesium from contaminated soil and other materials", the incident spewed a lot of the radioactive isotope into the air and ocean... and that stuff is out there (nothing can be done to contain or recover and dispose of it).

Finally, regarding Willis' lie that nuclear is, "the only stuff that emits ZERO carbon emissions", Nature Reports says, "While... operating nuclear power plant has near-zero carbon emissions (the only outputs are heat and radioactive waste), ...Nuclear plants have to be constructed, uranium has to be mined, processed and transported, waste has to be stored, and eventually the plant has to be decommissioned. All these actions produce carbon emissions".

And there is the fact that the free market (a fictitious entity near-and-dear to the Conservative heart) has rejected nuclear power. This is why a nuke plant cannot be built without enormous government subsidies, including insurance subsidies. While the Price–Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (a law that "governs liability-related issues for all non-military nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2026) is supposedly "industry funded", it actually only covers the "first approximately $12.6 billion".

Should a major disaster occur, the US taxpayer is on the hook for anything above that. This is why private insurance companies refuse to have anything to do with nuke energy, and why it can't exist in a so-called free market system. Reason enough Conservatives like Willis Hart should be opposed (if they aren't hypocrites).

None of my research came from the "Daily Kos", by the way. I did, however, take a look at an article titled Ten Urgent Reasons to Reject Nuclear Power Now from Truthout (Truthout is a progressive organization I'd guess Willis loathes almost as much as the Daily Kos). I did not link to the Truthout article in the body of my post, however... but I do recommend any reader of this post take a look at it.

The Truthout article details why nuke energy is a REALLY bad idea, it's high power density (a point Mr. Hart hammers on in most of his anti-green posts) not withstanding. Although Willis isn't counting the energy consumed constructing, mining, etc... all the things that contribute to nuke's carbon footprint also reduce it's power density. And then there are the downsides, which, aside from how insanely dangerous nuke power is, include the issue of it's waste lasting thousands of years. In short, nuclear energy simply is not worth the risk.

SWTD #128, wDel #15. See also OST #12.


  1. Fukushima has to be the worst disaster of the century. New victims and new diseases will continue to emerge into the future. Horrifying.

    I thought of my own (happily off-line) plant in San Onofre California. I looked for historical earthquake data only to find a major quake in the sea only thirty miles distant from Oceanside less than two hundred years ago. Maybe only fifty or sixty miles away from the nuclear facility. Popular opinion being what it is in California, right on the heels of Fukushima, chances are it will never be put back on-line.

    Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt did a Stage-It concert against nuclear energy a couple of years ago. The song was called "Poison Fire."

    Are you for real Will? I guess the cost is high because there are enormous costs associated with manufacturing, transporting and storing radioactive materials. Not to mention the cost of operating them (hopefully) safely.

  2. Yes, FJ, that is why the cost is so high (after factoring in all the things you list). Nuke power is the MOST expensive AND dangerous energy in existence. We need to move away from it before we experience our own Fukushima.


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